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This Week in Eastern Athletics: Oct. 9 – Oct. 15, 2023 –

CHENEY, Wash. — The majority of Eastern Washington’s teams will be away this week, but two will be at home. Women’s Soccer is back  for a conference tilt against Idaho. Women’s Golf will host its home tournament, with 11 teams competing. Coming off its bye week, Football will travel to Pocatello to play Idaho State. Volleyball, Women’s Tennis and Cross-Country continue their seasons on the road.

Football —  (Saturday, Oct. 14 at Idaho State; 3 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. MT)

The Eagles return from their bye week with a road contest against the Bengals (1-4 overall, 1-1 Big Sky), who are also refreshed after a week off. EWU hopes to rebound from a narrow loss to current No. 3-ranked Idaho, 44-36 at Roos Field on Sept. 30 while the Bengals lost 28-20 to Montana.

All eyes will be on the quarterback position for the Eagles as regular starter Kekoa Visperas missed the Idaho game with an injury. Transfer Jared Taylor took over behind center and impressed with his legs, becoming the first EWU QB to rush for over 100 yards since 2019, racking up 121 and two scores while adding 95 yards and a TD through the air. Fellow transfer Michael Wortham also contributed, going 3-for-5 passing for 34 yards and a TD while adding 54 and a score rushing. Visperas leads the conference in passing, however, with a 264.3 per game average, good for 13th in the country.

It will be a battle of strengths on Saturday as the Eagles, with the conference’s second-ranked pass defense (168.2 yards per game) will take on the top-ranked passing offense in the Big Sky as the Bengals average 315.6 yards through the air, with the two-headed monster of freshman Jordan Cooke and junior Hunter Hays both taking snaps. The Bengals have been prone to turnovers, however, tossing a conference-high 9 interceptions while losing 2 fumbles. Eastern is 70-5 since 2010 when winning the turnover battle.

Soccer — Get Tickets (Sunday vs. Idaho: 1 p.m.)

Eastern Washington will close out its regular season with three-straight home matches, starting with Idaho this Sunday (Oct. 15) at EWU Soccer Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern is currently sitting at sixth in Big Sky standings (1-3-1, 2-11-1) with four points, while Idaho is fifth with seven points.

The Eagles dropped two tough games last week to Sacramento State (0-1) and conference-leading Portland State (2-5). Eastern held the Hornets scoreless until the 76th minute when they drew a penalty in the box. Sac. St. then converted a penalty kick for the game winning goal. 

The Vikings took a quick 2-0 lead on the Eagles before Delani Walker responded with her fifth goal of the season to cut the lead in half. After trailing 3-1 at halftime, Corina Froehle scored her third goal of the season to cut the PSU lead down to one again. Eastern pushed aggressively to score the equalizer but could not keep the Vikings from countering with two goals.

Maddie Morgan continues to lead the conference with 13 goals and averages 2.14 shots on goal to lead the Big Sky. Her 44 total shots and 3.14 a game average are also the top mark in the conference. Walker ranks eighth in the Big Sky for goals as well. With her assist on Froehle’s goal against PSU, Chloe Pattison is tied, along with Morgan, for eighth on the conference leaderboard with four assists. 

Golf — (Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 9-10, Eagle Invitational: All Day)

Eastern hosts the second annual Eagle Invitational today and tomorrow at the Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane. The Eagles will play two rounds (36 holes) on day one and one round on day two. Eastern has Kami Twining, Morgan Baum, Gabriella Ilardi, Carisa Padilla and Brooke Mahler competing. Meghan Singh and Stephanie Chelack will also be playing as individuals. 

The Eagles competed at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational last week. The team placed 20th, finishing strong with a 301 in round three. Mahler shot a 73 on the final day, with Twining recording a 75.

Volleyball — (Thursday at Montana State: 6 p.m. Pacific Time; Saturday at Montana: 1 p.m. PT)

Eastern Washington begins a three-game road trip this week, with matchups against Montana (Oct. 12) and Montana (Oct. 14). Eastern is eighth in the Big Sky standings with a 2-4 conference record and 8-10 overall. 

EWU was at Reese Court this past week for two games. The Eagles started the week with a 3-1 win over Portland State as Sage Brustad dropped in 15 kills to lead the team. The team had 15 aces, tied for the third-most in program history for a single game. Makenna Collins had a game-high four from the line. 

In the next matchup against Sacramento State, the Eagles fell 3-1 to the Hornets. Eastern’s offense was held in check with a .090 hitting percentage. Bri Gunderson notched nine total blocks in the game, with two solo and seven assists.

Gunderson ranks seventh in the Big Sky with 0.98 blacks per set, recording 63 total in 65 sets played. Her 14 solo blocks is third in the conference. Brustad ranks second with 3.79 kills per set, racking up 227 total this season. At the service line, Brustad averages 0.45 aces per set to rank third in the Big Sky. Kate Hatch is seventh with 0.36 aces per set and Collins is ninth with 0.33. 

Women’s Tennis — (Thursday, Oct. 12-16) at ITA Northwest Regional: All Day)

EWU will compete at the ITA Northwest Regional this weekend, with five days of matches on the schedule. The tournament will be held in Stanford, Calif. with matches taking place all day. 

This past weekend, Eastern hosted the Eagle Invitational, playing opponents from Idaho, Montana and Seattle U. Scout Mathews and Isabella Foshee won the tournament title after defeating Seattle U’s Elena Kraleva and Liliya Dimova in the finals (2-1).  

Cross Country — (Saturday, Oct. 14 at LC State Invitational; 10:30 a.m.)

The cross country team will take on their last meet before the Big Sky Championships, running in the LC State Invitational on Saturday morning in Lewiston, Idaho. The Eags look to build off their last event, when the team split between races in Louisville, Ky. and Walla Walla, Wash. on Sept. 30. The Eagle women finished 14th and men 24th at the Live in Lou Classic in Louisville, against elite programs from all corners of the U.S.

The LC State course was new in 2020 and this will be Eastern’s first time racing on it.

The race will be the team’s last before heading to Missoula, Mont. on Oct. 27 for the Big Sky Championships hosted by the University of Montana.

Tickets for the 2023 EWU Football season are now available! Visit or call the EWU Athletics Ticket Office at 509-359-6059 to secure yours today.

New for the 2023-24 season, the EWU Women’s Sports Pass gives fans access to over 30 Eagle Athletics events, including volleyball, soccer and women’s basketball for only $5 per game! Learn more and get yours today at or call 509-359-6056.

Eastern Washington University Athletics sponsors 14 intercollegiate sports, six for men and eight for women, both as learning opportunities for its most athletically talented students and as an enhancement to student and community life. Eastern is affiliated with Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and is a member of the Big Sky Conference, an association of 10 regional schools with comparable enrollments and academic goals.

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Mark Evans

Hey there, I'm Mark Evans, a student at The King's University in Edmonton. I'm passionate about fitness and gaming, and I love writing about both. You can usually find me pounding away on my keyboard, crafting blog articles for various websites and news outlets. I've been interested in fitness for as long as I can remember, and I've always loved trying out new workouts and experimenting with different diets. On the gaming side of things, I'm a huge fan of all kinds of games, from action-packed shooters to immersive RPGs. When I'm not hitting the gym or diving into a new game, I love spending time with my friends and family, exploring the city, and trying out new restaurants. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them!

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